CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – News 2 is celebrating Nexstar’s Founder’s Day of Caring – it’s a day where our station, or company, gives back to the community as a thank you for trusting and sharing your stories with us.

This year, we are putting our efforts towards the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston – You’ll find it across the street from Charleston’s medical district. It offers free lodging for children and their families as they seek treatment at nearby hospitals.

But families we spoke with say the Ronald McDonald House goes far beyond a place to stay.

More than 30 families are behind the walls of the Ronald McDonald House of Charleston on any given day. “We forget that there are all these stories, in each of those bedrooms, every day and they’re all gut-wrenching,” said Alex Tew, director of Development for RMHC.

That is because the 32-room home serves families in crisis – children who are seeking medical treatment, often for weeks, if not months at a time.

“Our mission is to take care of these families. We give them warm beds, hot meals so they can concentrate on their children in the hospital,” Tew said.

Families like the Dominguez and Guiterez’s who flew to Charleston from Spain unexpectedly when their surrogate went into labor with their twin girls three months early.

“In the bad moments, suffering a lot with our babies in the hospital, it was a relief to be here in this place,” said Javi Dominguez.

Clementina, one of the twins, died in the days following the birth. Now, two months later, they are preparing to take their one surviving daughter, Gloria Grace, back to Spain. A feat made possible by their stay at the Ronald McDonald House.

“It’s our family, we have lived so many emotions here that our family in Spain don’t know what we have been living,” said Guiterez. “These are the two most important months of our lives. To have the baby, to lose the baby. So, Ronald McDonald is part of our story forever.”

Calvin Cobb is from Clemson. His family has stayed at the house three times for his son’s ear surgeries.

“It would be hard for a family to stay somewhere for three or four days and eat, take a shower and have a playground,” he explained.

His daughter Jaliea agrees. “How happy and grateful this place is and how kind it is,” she said.

Tew said the house if open 24/7, 365 days a year thanks to donations and volunteers.

“This house is a great example of a community charity because we depend on the community to keep running,” she said.

That is why News 2 is giving back to the Ronald McDonald House as part of our parent company’s day of caring.

Nexstar founder Perry Sook explained why he started Founder’s Day, “The best thing we can do is give back to the community as a thank you for how they help to make and build our company,” he said.

Nexstar Media Group is one of the largest media groups in the U.S., owning stations across the country including WCBD News 2.

This year’s we’re celebrating the company’s 25th anniversary in a big way by volunteering our time at the Ronald McDonald House in Charleston.

They need help after a year in the pandemic, and for weeks, we have been doing what we can at News 2 to collect non-perishable snack donations for the RMHC’s snack cart.

On Thursday, our team will spend the day at the Ronald McDonald House in full force planting flowers, painting, cleaning, and helping in every way possible.